Only in India: Adventures of an International Educator by Jill Dobbe


Spirited adventures and education for two educators living in India.

“A city of extraordinary contrasts, Gurgaon could be described as rich and poor. Elegant and shabby. Beautiful and ugly. Clean and revolting. Delightful and disgusting.”

~ Only in India by Jill Dobbe


Dobbe begins this fascinating travelogue-memoir at the end of her and her husband’s tour as an educator in Gurgaon, India. It’s a very abrupt end that is filled with chaos and anxiety because Dobbe’s visa has expired. As visions of being thrown into an Indian prison race through her mind, and she makes plans to return to the United States, she reflects on her as an international educator.

In 2009, Dobbe and her husband, Dan, excitedly moved from Wisconsin to Gurgaon, India to be principals at an International School. Dobbe recounts the anticipation of the post, her interactions with the international and local community, and the wildlife around India, and the adventure in even the most routine activities.

I’m a big fan of travel and travelogues, so Dobbe’s memoir was intriguing. Her descriptions of life in India, the contrasts and paradoxes within the culture and people are so beautifully drawn out. Dobbe also does an excellent job of capturing the essence of the country through all senses, such as the colourful spices in the market, and the sounds of the tuk tuks zooming around the streets. This narrative is engaging as well as educational and thought-provoking as Dobbe weaves in the culture’s history, as well as the socio-political and economic situation and issues.

Chalkboards, chaos, colour and culture in a charming book about being educators and educated while living and working in India. An insightful and interesting read for vicarious travelers and lovers of cultures of Indian culture.

If this title interests you, check out:

Wherever You Go by Daniel Houghton

On the Shortness of Life by Seneca

Be Water, My Friend by Shannon Lee

Travels with George by Nathaniel Philbrick